tv [untitled] March 21, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT
welcome to the march 19, meeting of the board of appeals. to my left is deputy city attorney and at the controls is the board's legal assistant, he's assisted by aleck long away, who is the board's legal process clerk. i'm the board's executive director. we're joined by representatives that have matters before the board. scot sanchez the here, he's the zoning administrator. joseph duff ey is here representing department building inspection and we are carla short and chris buck here for the department of public works. at this time if you'd go over the board's meeting guidelines
and conduct the swearing and process. >> appellants, permit holders each have seven minutes to report their cases and 3 minutes for their rebuttals. member of the public who are not affiliated with the parties have up to three minutes each to address the board but no rebuttals. to assist the board with accurate representation of minutes, members are asked to submit a speaker card to board staff when you come up to the podium. the board also welcomes your comments and suggestions. there are customer satisfaction survey forms on the left side of the podium. if you have questions about requesting a board hearing,
please speak to staff during a break or after the meeting or call the board office tomorrow morning. we're located at 1650 mission street, room 304. this meeting is broadcast live of san francisco government television, sf govtv and dvd's are available for purchase. thank you for your attention. at this point in time we'll conduct our swearing in process. if you intend to testify in any hearing tonight and ask to give your testimony, please stand, raise your right hand and say i do after you've been sworn in or affirmed. please note any member of the public may speak pursuant to the rights of the sunshine ordinance. >> do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, whole
truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. >> thank you. president lazarus, commissioners, we have two housekeeping items. the first has to do with item number 5, protesting a wireless site permit at 1460 larkin street. that appeal was administratively dismissed after the permit was cancelled by the permit holder and will not be heard. item number two, which is
commissioner comments and questions. >> i'd like to wish joseph duffey a happy birthday. >> i'm 21 again. any other commissioner comments? any public comment? item 3 is the consideration and adoption of the minutes for march 12, 2014. changes or corrections. is there a motion to approve the minutes? >> so moved. >> any public comment on the minutes? seeing none, mr. pacheco if you could call the roll. on the the motion to adopt the march commissioner honda. a: i. >> thank you. the vote is four to zero, those
minutes are adopted. >> item number for is a jurisdiction request. the board received a letter from christopher delainy asking that the board take jurisdiction over a tree removal permit which was issued on january 14, 2014. the appeal period ended on january 29, 2014 and the jurisdiction request was filed at the board office on march 3, 2014. the permit holder is richard price and the project is approval to remove six existing trees and plant nine new trees. we will start with the requestors. who would like to speak on behalf of the requesters, you have three minutes. >> i need to make a disclosure, commissioners, that quite a few years ago miss delaney was
hired by /phao*eugs for a project in emeryville. >> and i thank you. >> i'm here, christopher delaney -- i own the building at 600 illinois. the reason that we are here is we are asking for the board to take jurisdiction of the permits. we did miss the deadline due to improper posting and failure to comply with section 806b3b, specifically stating that notice will be provided to the surrounding neighbors and the department shall post the notice on the affected tree. the two trees we are here to discuss and wish for a jurisdictional of this permit
is the trees are in illinois. we have no trouble with the trees on third. that's correct. the trees were posted and the affected trees were posted correctly on third. the trees on illinois, which are historic value, we believe, due to their size, due to the girth of the tree and due to the ecological quality of these trees, were not posted on the trees, nor were they posted on the fence. and all of us walk this area everyday, we never saw this. these are the trees in question. that is the fence. what you see on the fence is a posting for the planning review. there was never any posting on this. all of us walk this area everyday. we never saw a single posting. there were postings that faced
the south. this is the residence here, which you see in the circle on the right posting face south. you would have had to be walking south to see them. all of us live to the north. we are all property owners to the north, all the residents to the south are renters. postings were also across the street on illinois on a post that no one goes to and no one walks. and i guess that's it. >> thirty seconds. >> okay. and then posting here on the corner of mariposa and illinois, with many other
postings for rock concerts, ball games, but the actual trees were never posted, as is required by the city. thank you. >> okay, we can hear from the permit holder now. >> my name is rick price, i'm with rain tree partners, the owner of the site and the permit hold erer. the premise of the requesters is there arest there was an inaid adequate be intentionally or inadvertently cause the requestors in being late in filing their appeals. the permit holder request denial of this jurisdiction
request. improper notice was given and adequate time was given to apply for such appeal. the department of public works has a prosee cedure, and a standard protocol they follow, which includes posting directly on trees, but in a case where it is reasonably impractical or ineffective, the notices are hung in close proximity to the trees. i direct you to an exhibit, exhibit b, stating -- so here's the permit holder's property, the trees in question are here in this location. another close up view of our property in those trees that are called into question, the two trees here. as you can see there's a notice posted on this pole directly in
front of the trees and another notice posted on this pole and department of public works notified us they posted this notice on the trees. this fence is over 6 feet tall and if you were to post on the actual trees you can see, as far as the line of sight goes, it would be behind the tree and out of view. that fence also does have some barbed wire across the top, making it difficult for public works to post there. exhibit a shows, again, this posting at the -- this is the northeast corner of the block so as you can see in this image here to the right, that's how that posting looks and that's still there today, so three months later. this is coming from the west and this would be coming from the north.
exhibit c shows another posting, this time here at the bottom right hand corner of the page so all corners of this side of the block were posted until there were six postings along illinois street. the requestors mentioned in their brief that they walk this block twice a day so during the 30 day posting period and the 15 day appeal period, that would be 45 days, how many times they would have walked this block without having acknowledged any of the six postings along illinois. i >> i'm sorry, your time is up. >> can i wrap /-p? up. >> yes, you may. >> in conclusion we ask that the board recognize that these trees were properly noticed and the appeal timelines were reached and expired by more
than a month so we ask that this jurisdiction request be denied. >> we can hear from the department now. >> chris buck with department of public works, urban forestry, received a permit for the six trees permitted for removal. the fence is not accessible, invisible, blocks view to the street -- the trunks of the trees themselves, so we posted four notices on the block and a notice on the fence, so typically that's how we'd post in this particular case to be consistent with how we handle -- so the department feels we
did provide adequate and sufficient posting in this matter. >> the -- a lot of budget sponsors will take photos of the posting. did you -- the photo that was shown of the fence had the city planning notice, but it -- i don't think it showed your notice. do you have any photos of the fence that indicated the posting? >> we typically do not take photos of the postings, however, when we received several emails from the public about their concern about this matter, i returned to the site on the 3rd to get a sense of what still remained so a month-and-a-half after posting i found that four notices were still on telephone poles on the block. there's a fifth notice that's on a very skinny no parking pole. i wouldn't really call that a posting, but just something to
call the attention to that site. when i went on march 3, i did not see the posting on the fence so i have photos of all the other postings on the poles month-and-a-half after the 30 day posting period expired. i don't have photos of the notice placed on the fence. >> okay, thank you. we can take public comment. can i see a show of hands how many people plan to speak under public comment for this item? >> okay, first person step forward. if you haven't taken the time to fill out a speaker card, we'd appreciate you doing that before or after you come to speak. anyone who wants to speak can't be part of the requesting panel, people who have filed
the actual request, so none of the people i named. >> i'm steve parhim. i'm a homeowner. i'm going to speak on behalf of rodney bogar who's -- >> no, he's part of the request so his time to speak was the three minutes that have already been used. you can speak for yourself if you'd like. >> here's an actual picture of -- >> refer to the overhead. >> actually here's a picture we took of one of the postings that is facing south away from 610 illinois street, as you can see. it's wrapped in cellophane, it's very hard to read the sign and that's actually indicative of some of the other signage that was on there and the condition of the signs in the
requester to do this work? >> yes. >> your time to speak was also part of that initial three minutes so unless the board has a question for you, i think that time has already been allotted. sorry. next speaker. >> my name is john ren frank. i'm a recent purchaser of an apartment in 610 illinois and i actually look over the canopy where these two trees. i'm the southeastern corner of the building and because i purchased the house, i actually signed on january 18, i have been looking at the building
for the entire -- since middle of november so i would have noticed if there was a posting on the fence. all i saw was the notice for the planning department. i didn't notice any tree postings. i actually work at mariposa and arkansas and there were a line of trees removed by the forestry department and they properly posted those on the trees with about 4 feet of cellophane wrapped completely around each individual tree. there was no such wrapping on these two trees. the per met actually does not state two trees on illinois, it only states one tree. so they didn't actually post on -- for both trees, only for one. and that was only after i was told about the posting after i had purchased the unit and the removal of these trees will greatly affect my property
value because they add to the look of my apartment and that's it. thank you. >> next speaker please. >> my home is right in front of illinois street and my garage is beside these trees so i see that wall where they have the posting everyday and there was no posting on the trees. there was a permit on the -- there was a white notice, but nothing about the trees, everyday. and we -- i have two dogs and i use that sidewalk every night. and the posting that's on the posts are facing the road, not the sidewalk so it's not obvious to me .
the one posting that's by the parking sign on the baseball is so narrow you literally have to walk around the post to kind of read it in front of plastic cover so it was not really noticeable. i wanted to let you know that i did not witness any posting on that wall for side of trees. thank you. >> next speaker please. >> i'm steve williams. i received a call from a nearby homeowner a couple hours who asked me to come down. these are significant trees. the postingings are vague. they don't say these two trees are going to go so the neighbors assume that only those trees actually wrapped are the ones going to be cut.
and the statute specifies that the tree itself has to be posted. it saying shall. that is in addition. 30 days prior to removal the department shall post a notice on the a tree. they may have a different policy when it's hard to get to some of the trees, but it leaves no doubt. the postings are vague. they don't say these two trees specifically will be cut. there's no /prepblgs or harm to the developers here. they're ahead of these things. they don't have a single approval yet. when we met with them a couple weeks ago they said they're not going to break ground for more than a year, so it doesn't make any sense for a permit to be out there to cut these trees down. further, where the trees are right now is in the required rear yard so if they don't get their approval, they then cut down some significant trees that they may never get approvals to cut down. that's a problem.
and finally, the applications submitted to the department was not accurate, as one of the other speakers says. it only one significant tree instead of the two significant trees that were know were there on illinois. i brought copies of that if the board wants the see that on page 3 of the tree application, submitted to planning. it only identifies one significant tree and i couldn't find anywhere on the website or the dpw website or anywhere in the statutes where it said anything other than tree itself has to be posted and i also brought copies of the website that deals with the removal of significant trees from private property and i have those for you it says a notice will be posted on the
tree for 30 days so that reflects statutory language as well. and the neighbors are just looking for a hearing to try to save these tries. we ask the board to take jurisdiction. thank you. >> any other public comment? seeing none, commissioner's matter is submitted. >> i have a question for mr. buck. >> sure. >> do you want to respond to the accuracy of the notice that was raised by two of the speakers? >> sure, chris buck, department of public works. just one thing to clear up so
we did separate postings for the illinois frontage. we didn't use postings, we use special 650 illinois street posting /tpoetss. notices. that's probably the key thing i'd like to address. the only other thing would be the posting notices facing the way of the pedestrians, they do not face out into the streets and again, it was just the -- this was a little more visually accessible. i might contact the property owner and get access to the property so we could put notices on the trunks of the trees. even if you could see through it a little bit, but in this case the fence is pretty difficult to see through so we
understand we want to follow the code. we also just try to be reasonable with providing adequate postings throughout the block. >> do you have an interpretation as to how specific the code is? >> we follow the code. that's -- we don't make our own interpretation. >> so specifically is something in the code that says you can put the notices outside, not on? because what they're saying is that specifically to the code it says it needs to be on the tree. do you have anything specifically that says it does not need to be on the tree? >> to my knowledge, there's no section of the code that states that
>> the ben tit of having that notice on the trunk, i would question that. again, we don't want to be defensive. it's not our first development site. we have a very clean, clear record on public notification, the more the better. certainly we can take cues from this and see to it that the trunk's posted so that's where we are at the staff level. >> okay. >> under these circumstances, had you /tpe had access to the
trees, would you have done additional postings given that they were not particularly accessible? >> we would, so on illinois street, we had three notices on the three large telephone poles on that side of the street, all facing in different directions. we had a pole directly across the street by the 90 degree angled parking, which i agree is less accessible, so we put three postings on that side of the block to make up for the fact that there isn't an established sidewalk. we also posted a notice on the parking sign, so you could say we had 4-and-a-half because i don't want to call that parking sign legitimate. but we did have four notices on the block, in addition to the fence. i understand that may have been torn off, but the skinny
telephone pole, the no parking sign pole was also posted. so to answer your question, we feel that adequate posting has occurred here. it's a development site. my initial responses to the concerned members of the public was just a little surprised that this hadn't come up. that the trees on third street we didn't receive any protest. my understanding the site's being developed just a little surprised that this has come up. >> question, let's say there was no fence and you posted the trees, would there have been additional postings as well at that site? >> no. we would -- as long as those trees were visually accessible, with'd we'd just post the notices on the trunks of the trees and four pole locations on that block so we